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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old March 12th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #1
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EX1 Audio

I'm a newbie at all this, and am loving the learning curve. Kudos to all the pros here, unselfishly sharing valuable info.

I recently sat down for my own audio test of the EX1 inputs. I thought I'd record a drum kit as an initial test because of the wide dynamic range and extremely fast transients. My test was not a technical one; no scopes or special meters were used, just the audio meter in FCP to evaluate the signal and a pair of ATH-M50 headphones.

Here's the setup:
  • 2 Sennheiser e914 cardioid condenser mics positioned waist high (not overhead) about 3' from kit
  • Camera's internal 48v phantom power was used (no external power supply)
  • Left channel mic is positioned at about 10 o'clock off center of kit
  • Right channel mic is positioned at about 2 o'clock off center of kit
  • Mics' internal roll-off switch was set to its flat response curve
  • Mics' internal sensitivity switch was set to 0dB (no attenuation)
  • Camera's audio input levels were set to manual, positioned at "5", the 0dB setting
  • Camera's external mic trim settings was set to -31dB (this is the setting found in the Setup Menu)
  • Clip was shot at 720p30
  • Clip was brought into FCP and audio in example was kept at 48kHz sample rate
  • No EQ was used
  • Very slight compression was used in FCP to bring more balance between soft and hard notes

Clip is available here. I realize the clip may be a bit long for many listeners, but any critique of the sound quality is appreciated.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 05:46 PM   #2
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what a drumer! wow! your good!

I’m a studio engineer, actually a big pro tools guy... so let me give what I think.

The mic preamp quality from the ex1 itself is 'trash' its far from a being a clean warm pro. Studio sound. in my opinion in order to capture the best sound, don't use the ex1 mic pre. you will need some *normal professional* mic preamp, then connect it to the ex1 as line in.

About compression:
I never use the final cut dynamic filters tools. but you say you did use it.
if this is the compressor FCP provides, then I’m happy I did not use it till now…

Because on this demo its absolute horrible! Every time the crash is being hit.
Its totally not accepted such a junk dynamic control...
it looks like a build in mic from a $25 dollar old tape recorder...

sorry for the negative reply... but this is how it sounded like...

enjoy..
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Old March 12th, 2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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Do you think that the line in actually bypasses the preamp in the EX1 or does it just go through the same preamp with attenuation?

I would bet on the latter, and hence the same sound issues for mic and line in.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 07:08 PM   #4
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???

I have the SAME question... but the use of line in is defiantly a better choice. No?
Iím waiting for a camera with a digital inputÖ

Therefore when the quality of the audio is critical for a job, I always record the audio on a pro. recording rack, and then aligning in FCP
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Old March 12th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #5
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Next tuesday I will be doing final audio on some commercials I shot with the EX1. I have camera audio captured into FC and production the DATS. We went through a mixer and used the Line In.

The sound man thought the EX1 was perfectly fine in that configuration. We'll do a side by side and see what the difference between the DAT and the audio captured over SDi is.

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Old March 12th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #6
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Yes, when I said "sound issues" above, I wasn't implying that there is any sound problem at all with the EX1. Just that if one was to take issue with the sound on the EX1, that it would be the same at both mic and line level, probably.

I think the EX1 sounds great and I've seen audio tests which prove that out.

Check this out as an example:

http://aamserver.dnsalias.com/basspi...AudioTests.htm

Last edited by Eric Pascarelli; March 12th, 2008 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old March 12th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Pascarelli View Post
I think the EX1 sounds great and I've seen audio tests which prove that out.

I agree. I've been cutting this stuff for two weeks every day and it really does sound good - especially cut against camera audio from an XLH1 for some older spots we revised. Same sound guy, mics, mixer and talent too.

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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:38 PM   #8
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ex1...ex1...ex1.... after all the price is under 10k... Sony did us a favor by providing the picture quality of a much more $$$$ for just below 10k... so what we have, we have! we can't complain to much... maybe one day sooooooooooon... Sony will offer a EX-2...

I think it all depends on how much money the job brings in. if the price is right, I will bring on the job a $2500 tube mic pre. And a $2500 tube compressor and a $3500 tube mic. Use gold monster cables and a crane for the camera, quality lighting set ...etc... etc..

but if the job will only pay the minimum, then I will use the build in mic from the ex1 to capture audio, and in place of a lighting set, I will just add gain to the picture... after all the ex1 is told to be a very clean camera...

So when we talk about the audio quality from the ex1, we have to keep in mind the margin of the quality and the type of job we need it for. Got the idea?

p.s. about the above audio sample:
I have a feeling there was something wrong there, or the micís, or the levels, or the FC dynamic filter was wrong tweaked, or the final output compression format. The ex1 should sound much better from what I heard in the above link.

Any way good night!

Enjoy!
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Old March 13th, 2008, 03:00 AM   #9
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I have found the sound recorded on the EX1 to really good.

On the subject of equipment I do not discriminate what equipment I will use once I've got the job. Whatever the client pays they always get a good job with the best kit. Using the same kit every day is easier than downgrading the final spec because of the price. Obviously if hired kit is brought in then there are extra charges.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #10
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Joel,

My example was merely to show what the camera audio does, not that it beats out a US$15,000 location audio rig. If I have time, I'll output another video without any audio effects -- something I should've done to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Klein View Post
Use gold monster cables and ...
Joel, tch, tch. Haven't you read this? If not, read up and save some $$$.
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